YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT HER HERE:http://dianeravitch.com/about-diane/- She is an educational historian who has worked for the Federal government.- She is currently a professor at NYU- She has written many books about school reform, especially criticizing the many failed attempts to make over our schools
RECENT EDUCATIONAL REFORMS- What is NCLB? - In case you want some background, here is the Department of Education’s summary of the NCLB Act: http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/execsumm.html - The idea is to hold teachers and schools accountable for their students’ success - If teachers are invested in their students’ education, then we will have fewer poor teachers and we can reward those who are successful - We can determine teacher effectiveness by using standardized tests. - Do you think this is possible? Should we punish schools whose students do not meet standards? Should we reward schools whose students excel?
RAVITCH DOES NOT SUPPORT NCLBYou can check out this interview on The Daily Show to get an overview:http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-3-2011/diane-ravitch- Why does Ravitch oppose NCLB? - It is punitive to teachers - Testing takes the front seat, but subjects that aren’t being tested are not being prioritized, and are even being cut. - Another interview in which Ravitch states that NCLB has been a disaster: http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/schools-news/ravitch-no-child- left-behind-has-been-a-disaster/ - How do we determine a school’s success? Should it be measured empirically?
RACE TO THE TOP- What is it? - You can read about it here, to get a better idea: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/fact-sheet-race-top - Basically, the government provides funds to those states and schools that show the greatest dedication to educational reform, by using assessments and collecting data, reforming teacher preparation, and improving the quality of low-performing schools. - It also promotes the creation of charter schools, attempting to use these schools to replace failing public schools - Is privatization the answer? If a school can not meet the standards the government has set, then should that school be turned over to someone else?
WHAT DOES RAVITCH HAVE TO SAY?- She addressed this point on her blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane- ravitch/obamas-race-to-the-top-wi_b_666598.html - Essentially: testing students more is not the answer. If we hold teachers and principals accountable for student test scores, we will end up punishing a lot of people and closing a lot of schools. - If students, schools, and teachers are products of their community, can we fix schools by improving the community?Here is Ravitch specifically discussing the problems with charter schools:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_HwI6S92EoWhat do you think about charter schools? Are they the solution? Or just another problem with school reform?
HOW ABOUT THE COMMON CORECURRICULUM?- This is a useful resource, since New York is moving in this direction already:- http://www.corestandards.org - The Common Core is designed with the idea that students across the country need some kind of common education, and that this education should be held up to high standards. - What do you think of the standards? - Interestingly, in the summer of 2012, Ravitch describes herself as neither for nor against the Common Core – but only says that we can’t know if it is good until it is tried. - http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/diane- ravitch-common-core-state-standards-rolled-out-in-45-states-without-a- field-test-anywhere/
AND 21ST CENTURY LEARNING STANDARDS?- Ravitch says that 21st Century learning standards are more of the same old- same old: more “if onlies” as she describes reform in Forgetting the Questions: The Problem of Educational Reform- The 21st Century Learning Standards were designed to provide students with the skills they need to be successful in today’s changing work force.- What skills do you think students need? Do you think the standards will really prepare students? - More recently, Ravitch had this to say: http://commoncore.org/pressrelease- 05.php
WHY HAVEN’T THESE REFORMS WORKED?- We shouldn’t be focused on ferreting out the bad teachers- Teachers are not the only things that affect test scores, so why are we using them to punish our teachers?- In Forgetting the Questions: The Problem of Educational Reform, Ravitch says that it’s not necessarily the schools that are the problem – our society has much greater problems that are being put upon the schools to fix. - Poverty and inequality are the true evils, not bad teachers. - Schools can not be expected to somehow rise above the current society and “mold a new kind of person”- they are institutions created by people, and will therefore be a reflection of their human creators, i.e. imperfect. - What do you think? Can schools be centers for social change? Can we hold them accountable for making changes in our society?
SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?- Diane Ravitch speaks at the Save Our Schools March: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzvZ1Uc2MiY- From Forgetting the Questions: The Problem of Educational Reform: - it’s more important to provide students with the optimal environment for learning than it is to punish teachers - Schools should be a place where intelligence and important skills are fostered and learned – we can not expect them to necessarily be the place where other goals are achieved. - Schools should have a strong curriculum, where students are taught to think critically and make their own judgments, as well as learning to enjoy literature, and learn science, history, and math. Schools should not be offering students too many choices that allow them to “serve time” in school without learning something of value.- “Until we teach our teachers and our students to love knowledge and to love learning, we cannot expect them to use their minds well.”
REFERENCESAbout Diane « Diane Ravitch. (n.d.). Diane Ravitch. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://dianeravitch.com/about-diane/Common Core State Standards Initiative | Home. (n.d.). Common Core State Standards Initiative | Home. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://www.corestandards.orgDiane Ravitch. (n.d.). Facebook. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from https://www.facebook.com/DianeRavitch?fref=tsDiane Ravitch - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 03/03/11 - Video Clip | Comedy Central. (n.d.). The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Political Comedy - Fake News | Comedy Central. Retrieved September 30, 2012, from http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-3-2011/diane-ravitchFact Sheet: The Race to the Top | The White House. (n.d.). The White House. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/fact-sheet-race-topHudson, J. (n.d.). Ravitch: "No Child Left Behind has been a disaster" | Davis Enterprise. Davis Enterprise | Yolo Countys Breaking News Source. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/schools-news/ravitch-no-child-left-behind-has-been- a-disaster/Ravitch, D. (n.d.). Common Core - News | 21st Century Skills: An Old Familiar Song. Common Core - CCSS-Based Curriculum Maps. Retrieved September 30, 2012, from http://commoncore.org/pressrelease-05.phpRavitch, D. (n.d.). Diane Ravitch: Obamas Race to the Top Will Not Improve Education. Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/obamas-race-to-the-top-wi_b_666598.htmlRavitch, D. (1985). Forgetting the Questions: The Problem of Educational Reform. The schools we deserve: reflections on the educational crises of our times (pp. 97-105). New York: Basic Books.Hart, S. V. (n.d.). Diane Ravitch: Common Core State Standards Rolled Out in 45 States Without A Field Test Anywhere | Truth in American Education. Truth in American Education. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state- standards/diane-ravitch-common-core-state-standards-rolled-out-in-45-states-without-a-field- test-anywhere/Executive Summary of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. (n.d.). Archived: Executive Summary of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/execsumm.html